GRAND RAPIDS (WWJ/AP) – A 25-year-old West Michigan woman who was convicted in the road rage shooting death of a Grand Rapids man says she didn’t intend to hurt anyone.
Jeannette Davis on Tuesday told a Kent County Circuit Judge Paul Sullivan that she’s “not a cold-hearted person” and was apologetic about the February slaying of 42-year-old Lance Byers.
Sullivan sentenced Davis to at least 22 years in prison, saying he didn’t think she was a “bad person. But, you did make some serious mistakes here, and you do have to pay for those mistakes,” MLive.com reported. The sentence will run consecutive to a two-year sentence for felonious use of a firearm.
Davis was convicted in July of second-degree murder. The jury found her 21-year-old brother, Jountay Davis, not guilty of being an accessory after the fact.
Authorities say Byers was arguing with Jountay Davis following a minor fender bender. Jeannette Davis claimed she was trying to stop the men from fighting when she fired the gun, which was illegally obtained.
The siblings left the scene after the shooting, but Jountay Davis said he had no idea who had fired the shot and was just looking to get out of the neighborhood.
Byers, who worked for the Department of Human Services, leaves behind a 3-year-old daughter.
Kelli Kopen, the mother of Byers’ daughter, told MLive.com after the hearing that she was satisfied with the sentence. While Kopen believes Jeannette Davis’ apology was sincere, she said that doesn’t lessen her responsibility for taking a life.
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